After hours on the weekend, a hair salon on Amsterdam's Reguliersdwarsstraat street is trading in shears for queers.
The salon, located in one of the city's most bustling nightlife districts, aims to provide a "safe space" for the LGBTQIA+ community to authentically be themselves through a pilot project called "DRESS&DANCE."
The first event on January 14th was organized by students at the InHolland University and Maud Gussenhoven, who manages Reguliersdwarsstraat street, according to Reuters.
"It is sad that this is needed but there have been incidents that have made people feel unsafe," Gussenhoven said.
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"That's why this concept is important: to safely give people the option to showcase their true selves, especially people who haven't come out yet," added Eli Verboket, a trans person.
Amsterdam may be located in one of the most progressive, pro-LGBTQ+ countries, but unfortunately hate often seems to rear its ugly head. A recent report from the Dutch government found that 310 out of 823 discrimination reports filed to Amsterdam police in 2021 were based on sexual orientation, per Reuters.